Just over a week ago, I was driving to the grocery store. I wasn't really all that excited about it, to tell you the truth - the crowded parking lot, the "sign this petition" people out front, the masses of people in the store, the "delivery problems - please be patient" sign where the frozen blueberry waffles ought to be... you get the picture. And there at the bottom of the freeway off-ramp stood a woman with a sign. She was wearing flip-flops and shivered in the wind. And I felt like a complete asshole.
Yesterday, I read this article about what Gracie's mom has been up to, and I felt more conviction. Conviction to stock up on socks, bars of soap, bottled water, and granola bars that I can keep in my car so I won't be the person who stares into space because she only has a 20 and that's too much to give away.
Last night, as I was driving home, I heard President Bush's speech at the convocation at Virginia Tech (and it was a pretty good speech as far as I'm concerned). And in my car, I suddenly had a much deeper sense of how fragile life really is. I thought about people who were in those classrooms and watched their friends die, and I felt sort of guilty for being alive so carelessly. And just like that, my perspective on life shifted. I decided to act like I know life isn't mostly about me (because, let's face it - don't we all cast ourselves as the leading role in our own life, and then write a script in which we do whatever we can to make ourselves happy?). I want my life to matter - and not just to me.